Understanding Climate Change: Alumna Asia Guerreschi
Born in Milan and raised in New York, Florence, and Rome, Asia Guerreschi graduated from JCU in 2016, with a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Business Administration. She completed her Master of Science in Physical Geography at King’s College London and then interned at the European Parliament in Brussels. Asia is Co-Founder of the Rethinking Climate project.
Tell us about your project Rethinking Climate.
Rethinking Climate is the result of over 10 years of volunteering activities to spread awareness about sustainability and climate change. This is a sustainability communication project that aims to expand the conversation we have about climate and the environment. I was President of the Grassroots Club at JCU and I have always been eager to learn more about what is happening to the planet and how we can improve our discussions of the problem. Rethinking Climate opens up conversations about complex and overlooked climate issues to make them more personal and accessible. We trust experts from a global network to bring different perspectives to our learning journey and to show that there is space for everyone in the climate movement. We try to do this with our podcast “Clearing the Air” and we hope that Rethinking Climate can continue to grow into a research project.
How did you become interested in climate issues?
I have been interested in the animal world since I was in elementary school and this is what initially triggered my interest in climate change and the environment. I have volunteered with Animal Equality, Animalisti Italiani, LIPU (Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli), LEIDAA (Lega Italiana Difesa Animali e Ambiente), and many other organizations. In 2016. I had the honor of volunteering for the Jane Goodall Institute Italia for over a year, and that gave me the opportunity to stay with Dr. Goodall herself in Winsdor (U.K.) for a one and a half week retreat for volunteers from all over the world. During this retreat, I presented the “Guide to the Great Apes” for which I curated the graphic design.
Quite interestingly, I first met Dr. Goodall at JCU in 2014 when I was completing a course with Professor Antonio Lopez. We had the opportunity to watch the documentary Jane & Payne, about Dr. Goodall and fellow naturalist Roger Payne, with her present and ask her questions.
Was there a class and/or professor who particularly impacted you during your time at JCU?
Professor Lopez’s classes have been illuminating and inspiring for me. His class on ecomedia and his books gave me a whole new understanding of climate change and the environment. There is so much we need to learn about supporting our planet, and it does not simply stop at recycling. We need to understand how we talk about the problem and how stakeholders are handling the issues. It comes down to knowing where the information is coming from, why it is being told, and how that piece of information, advertisement, or news can contribute to informing or supporting the fight against climate change.
Professor Lopez was also Grassroots’ advisor at the time and he was able to support our club in all the events and projects we organized, like our proposal to the JCU administration to distribute reusable water bottles.
What are some good resources for people who wish to educate themselves on this topic?
The Frohring Library provides excellent resources for the JCU community. The material you can find in the library is vast and the librarians are always available to help you find reliable sources of information, such as respected scientific publications (like Nature). A good idea is to find experts to follow such as Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist who is also one of the top experts in scientific communication. Of course, JCU professors are another good resource and I always asked them for advice when I was a student.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to give a shoutout to the Grassroots Club. Since I graduated I have continued to follow them on social media and have seen their great work on campus! So keep it up!